Book preview – Setting Boundaries

How society has taught you to act:

If you are like most men then you have been conditioned to be polite to a fault. You let people walk all over you for fear that you may offend someone. Friends take advantage of your kindness but rarely give anything in return. You let your family put you down and berate you but don’t say anything back for fear of hurting or upsetting them. Your significant other does what she or he wants but gets pissed at you for the same behaviors. You have become the welcome mat of the world and let everyone wipe their feet all over you.

How the awakened male acts:

The awakened male understands that he will only ever be treated as poorly as he allows someone to treat him. When he stands up for himself and sets boundaries people come to respect his boundaries or they know they will no longer be part of his life. He knows what he wants, how he expects to be treated, and settles for nothing less. He reminds people of his place and theirs when these boundaries are crossed. He realizes that the boundaries he sets are a direct representation of self-respect and therefore has no problem setting these firmly in place and sticking to them.

“Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you’re a man, you take it”

-Malcolm X-

In any given situation you may notice that, if left unchecked, people will naturally attempt to maneuver the conversation or circumstances in their favor. If we do not take some semblance of control in a situation, we can expect that our unvoiced boundaries will be crossed again and again. It is fully our responsibility to voice these boundaries, make clear consequences for not respecting them, and follow through on our word, no matter how uncomfortable it may be, because we are men of action.

Don’t know what you want your boundary to be? There are two ways in which you may establish a boundary with those around you. The first, and easiest, is to decide what you do not want and the second is to decide what you do want. Both of these give others a metric in which to base their behaviors and what behaviors to avoid. The only other step you must take after deciding what you do or do not want (discovering your boundary) is to vocalize it to those who may cross it. Once you have established the boundary, it is up to those around you to either follow it or quickly find their way out of your life.

This power struggle can be seen in almost every conversation you engage in. If you are quiet, people tend to talk about themselves, their problems, and their interests. It is human nature, after all, that each individual’s favorite subject is themselves. Many times, this means that you may be trampled underfoot in conversation. Most of society live in a constant state of tug-of-war where they pretend to care about the person they’re conversing with and patiently waiting until it is their turn to talk about themselves.

How does the intuitive male dodge this cycle in his relationships? Even if this is a situation that you are familiar with, it is never too late to turn it around. Make it clear that, while you care about the other person’s life, you are not their therapist. Of course this should be said in your choice of words that is fitting to this relationship since all are different. Hopefully they will respond to you and not turn the conversation back to their worries. It is important that you show the other person the same respect as well. The boundaries you set, especially with conversation, should also apply to yourself. Setting boundaries in a long-lasting relationship requires mutual respect and these are what help create and hold healthy relationships together like glue.

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